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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

"They were all filled with the Holy Spirit"(Acts 2:4) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Saint of the Month

Saint Joan of Arc
Feast Day - May 30

Saint Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (French: La Pucelle d'Orléans), is considered a heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle, a peasant family, at Domrémy in north-east France, on January 6, 1412.

Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer. Her mother was gentle and loving. She taught Joan many practical things. "I can sew and spin as well as any woman," she once said. Joan loved to pray, especially at the shrines of Our Blessed Mother. This honest little peasant girl was to become a heroine.

One day while she was watching her sheep, St. Michael the Archangel, the patron of her country, told her, "Daughter of God, go save France!" For three years she heard the voices of saints calling her to action. When she was sixteen, she began her mission.

At that time, there was a war going on between France and England. It was called the Hundred Years' War. England had won so much French land that the king of England called himself the king of France, too. The real French king was weak and fun-loving. He thought the French armies would never be able to save the country. With his permission, St. Joan led an army into the city of Orleans, which the English had almost captured.

Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War.

The uncrowned King Charles VII had sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission.

In her white, shining armor, this young heroine rode with her banner flying above her. On it were the names of JESUS and MARY. She was hit by an arrow in the great battle of Orleans, but she kept on urging her men to victory. At last they won! She gained prominence after the siege was lifted in only nine days. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims. This long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory.

St. Joan and her army won more and more battles. The English armies had to retreat.

After the victories, Joan's time of suffering began. She was captured by the enemy.
The ungrateful French king did not even try to save her. She was put in prison and after an unfair trial, was burned at the stake. Joan was only nineteen. She had a great horror of fire. Yet she went bravely to her death on May 29, 1431. Her last word was "Jesus."
Four hundred and eighty-nine years later, on May 16, 1920, Pope Benedict XV proclaimed Joan a saint.
Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorised by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonised in 1920.
Joan of Arc has been a popular figure in literature, painting, sculpture, and other cultural works since the time of her death, and many famous writers, filmmakers and composers have created works about her. Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc have continued in films, theatre, television, video games, music, and performances to this day.

She is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France, along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis, St. Michael, St. Remi, St. Petronilla, St. Radegund and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She is also the patron saint of martyrs; captives; military personnel; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers, women who have served in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service); and Women's Army Corps.
 
Divine Updates

38th National Youth Retreat

Our annual National Youth Retreat will be held at the Divine Retreat Centre. Come and let the word of God refresh you. Simultaneous retreats for couples, children and Bible nursery to be held. Contact Divine Youth for more details.

Date: May 20 - 25, 2018

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - drcsydney@gmail.com. Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2018 - December, 2018

Retreats in Divine Retreat Centre, UK

Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate UK, has announced several English and Malayalam language retreats to be led by Fr. George Panackal VC and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC. All are welcome.

Dates: Jan - Dec, 2018

Hindi Convention Ojas 2018

The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our eighth Hindi convention, in 2018. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults and another for couples and youth. All are welcome.

Date: May 27 - June 1, 2018

Divine Retreat Schedules

ENGLISH RETREATS

English retreats are held every week from Sunday to Friday. Special retreats are conducted for priests, religious and laity as well. Come and experience the Lord and grow in Him.

MALAYALAM RETREATS

Inner healing retreats, growth retreats, couples' retreats and youth retreats in Malayalam, are led by Fr. Mathew Elavumkal, Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil and Fr. Binoy Chackanikunnel.

OTHER LANGUAGES

Retreats in Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu

Every week, retreats are held in five different regional languages of India, apart from in the local language - Malayalam. The retreats are led by Vincentian priests and supported by powerfully anointed laity of God.

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